Writer Fred Stabley, Jr. is credited with the most famous nickname in basketball history: Magic. After watching Earvin Johnson score 36 points, 18 rebounds and 16 assists as a high school sophomore, Stabley gave the young star the moniker and it stuck, though his mother felt it was sacrilegious. Magic went on to lead Michigan State to a victory over Larry Bird's Indiana State at the 1979 NCAA national title game. As the 1st overall pick in the 1979 NBA draft, Magic proved his status by helping lead the Los Angeles Lakers to an NBA Championship his rookie season, winning Finals MVP in the process. Magic would win a total of 5 NBA championships and 3 league MVPs before his career was derailed by an HIV diagnosis in 1991, forcing an early retirement.
Earvin 'Magic' Johnson Jr. (born August 14, 1959) is a retired American professional basketball player who played point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After winning championships in high school and college, Johnson was selected first overall in the 1979 NBA Draft by the Lakers. He won a championship and an NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in his rookie season, and won four more championships with the Lakers during the 1980s. Johnson retired abruptly in 1991 after announcing that he had contracted HIV, but returned to play in the 1992 All-Star Game, winning the All-Star MVP Award. After protests from his fellow players, he retired again for four years, but returned in 1996, at age 36, to play 32 games for the Lakers before retiring for the third and final time. Johnson's career achievements include three NBA MVP Awards, nine NBA Finals appearances, twelve All-Star games, and ten All-NBA First and Second Team nominations.
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